Although I didn’t expect to, mainly because of the quirky fighting mechanic, I enjoyed the demo of Fairune. The full game was on sale this week and because of this, and that you can transfer your progress from the demo, I picked it up.
The fighting mechanic is this: you walk into enemies to fight them. If they’re a lower level than you, they die. If they’re one level higher, they die, give you XP, but also damage you. If they’re two levels higher, they die, give you more XP, but also damage you more. Any higher than that and they’re indestructible. The upshot is, in Fairune you will always lose energy and will need to heal.
Once your head copes with Fairune’s odd way of doing things, the rest of the game is pretty standard in terms of how to play. You collect items that open new areas and they provide access to harder baddies and further items to open more areas and so on. There are a few Zelda-esque puzzles to solve, the odd hidden area, and a final boss who not only suffers from Irritating and Unnecessary Gaming Cliché #3, but also plays out completely differently to the whole of the rest of the game – it’s a shoot ’em up. There is a secret room with Space Invaders in it though, perhaps that’s a clue.
This final boss is actually the only place in the entire game I died, and I died twice there. Still, he’s not too hard when you know his patterns. None of Fairune is hard, come to think of it. Excepting that I forgot to pick up a particular item having used it – it’s the only one in the game you need to do this with, so I didn’t realise you could, let alone had to. This was a pain that sidetracked me for a bit, and I even thought one of the puzzles was bugged as a result, but no.
Overall, a fun, unusual RPG-lite with some pretty pixel graphics and nice music that cost me under £2 and entertained me for two and a half hours. I’m not going to complain at that.